THAT’S HOW MUCH virgin plastic has been manufactured in just 70 years, worldwide.
That’s as heavy as 25,000 Empire State Buildings or a billion elephants, according to the BBC.
“That’s just really a staggering amount,” lead author Roland Geyer, an industrial ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told NPR. If you spread all that plastic out ankle-deep, “it [could] cover an area the size of Argentina, which is the eighth-largest country in the world,” he said.
In addition, only approximately 9% of all that plastic has been recycled. Twelve percent has been incinerated and the rest has ended up in landfills or polluted our oceans and other natural environments.